PH maritime sector facilitates arrival of 1,000 repatriated Filipino seafarers

Published April 13, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Richa Noriega

More or less 1,000 Filipino seafarers have arrived in the country as part of the repatriation program of the national government amid the global threats of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The repatriated seafarers arrived in the country on Sunday, April 11, at the Port of Manila on board the MV “Norwegian Encore” at the Port of Manila.

READ: The maritime sector of the Department of Transportation – Philippines (DOTr) has facilitated the arrival of…

Posted by Philippine Coast Guard on Monday, April 12, 2021

In a joint statement on Tuesday, April 13, the maritime sector consists of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), said all the repatriated seafarers underwent profiling from the Department of Health (DOH) and will also undergo the mandatory quarantine and testing protocols set by the national government before their disembarkation.

The MV “Norwegian Encore” vessel will also be used as the quarantine facility under the strict supervision of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

The repatriated seafarers will undergo swab testing on the sixth day of their quarantine proper, which will be handled by the PCG and the First Aide Molecular Laboratory, the RT-PCR molecular testing laboratory authorized by the national port authority.

Expenses for the swab tests will be subsidized through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, also known as the Republic Act No. 1149. Under this law, the government has allotted P270 million for the free RT-PCR testing of returning Filipino seafarers to alleviate the negative impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to the seafaring industry.

“The Philippines, having positioned itself as a crew change capital in the world through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its maritime sector, commits to provide world-class services to international vessels needing fresh crew onboard amid the pandemic,” the maritime agencies said

 “The member agencies of the One-Stop Shop for Seafarers (OSS) also collectively assure the public that the government is ensuring that health and safety protocols are strictly observed to help prevent and manage the continued threat of the COVID-19 disease,” it added.